Aslı Çakır Alptekin Of Turkey – The 2012 Olympic Women’s 1,500 Champ – Is Cleared Of Doping By The Turkish Federation

The Turks apparently don’t believe there was anything wrong with the Biological Passport of the already convicted doper, who dropped from 4:02 to 3:56 last year. The question now becomes – will the IAAF appeal? We wonder – was American Shannon Rowbury really the third best clean person in the race?

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December 19, 2013

2012 Olympic 1,500 champion Aslı Çakır Alptekin of Turkey, who was facing a possible lifetime ban for the sport based on a second doping offense, has been cleared of doping in 2012 by the Turkish Athletics Federation. The IAAF is still waiting to receive the report from the Turks in English before deciding whether they want to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for sport.

Considering the IAAF hasn’t even received the Turks report in English, it should come as no surprise that English language articles on the matter are all very short and information on the decision is still scarce. However, by reading several of them, a fuller picture is emerging (a long article on the affair appears on the Turkish CNN website (click here for a translation).

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The Agence France-Presse (AFP) article on Alptekin includes the following quote:

“It has been decided that there is no grounds for national sporting sanctions against Asli Cakir Alptekin as she did not violate any anti-doping rules, said a statement from the disciplinary commission on the Turkish federation`s website. “The disciplinary measures imposed on the athlete have been lifted.”

The Reuters article on Alptekin includes a statement from the IAAF:

“We will review the decision upon receipt and decide whether or not it should be appealed to CAS (the Court of Arbitration for Sport) as per IAAF rules,” spokesman Chris Turner said in an email to Reuters.

Quick Take #1: This is big, big news. It will be interesting to see if the IAAF appeals this to the CAS as the case against was Alptekin was based on the Biological Passport. If the validity of the Biological Passport testing doesn’t hold up, the anti-doping fight will take a huge hit.

Last year’s Olympic 1500 medallists – at least for the time being. More 2012 Olympic 1500 photos.

Quick Take #2: Even if Alptekin is cleared with or without an IAAF appeal, she won’t be cleared in realm of public opinion (at least ours) unless she comes back to competition and dominates like she did in 2012. The idea that a former doper and lifetime 4:02 performer just suddenly got everything right at age 26 and ran 3:56 in an Olympic year just doesn’t pass the smell test. Much like Brit Lisa Dobriskey, we don’t necessarily need a positive test to think someone is a doper.

Quick Take #3: To those of you who wonder why so often publicize doping stories, last year’s women’s 1,500 is prime example #1. Without stringent doping controls, the whole sport particularly on the women’s side just becomes a complete farce. The women’s 1500 in 2012 was totally dominated by dopers, ex-dopers and others who many have questions about.

Here Are The Olympic Top 4 From 2012 Women’s 1,500 And Their Links To Doping
1. Aslı Çakır Alptekin – Already banned for 2 years in 2004. Suspected of doping again based on Biological passport by IAAF, may or may not be eventually cleared.
2. Gamze Bulut – Based on her sudden improvement in 2012 and Turkish origins and the many other positives coming from Turkey in 2012, many lumped her in with Alptekin although she was never charged with doping. The fact that prior to 2012 her personal bests were only 4:18 for 1500 and 10:13.73 for the steeple doesn’t help her in the court of public opinion, nor did the fact that she only came back and ran a 15:45 5000 in 2013. But she’s still only 21 so she has plenty of time to prove the doubters wrong.
3. Maryam Jamal – Bahrain’s 2007 and 2009 former world champion is the only one seemingly without any explaining to do.
4. Tatyana Tomashova – Russia’s 2003 and 2005 world champion was banned in 2008 for two years for substituting urine in a doping test.

And that list doesn’t even include Mariem Alaoui Selsouli of Morocco, the only women to beat Alptekin outdoors last year, who thankfully was banned from the Olympics before they took place after a positive test after the Paris Diamond League meet.

Quick Take #4: American Shannon Rowbury finished sixth in the Olympics. We’re sure her supporters feel as if she was possibly the third-best non-doper in the race.

More: Discuss this in our forum: Wow: Didn’t see this coming: Turks clear 2012 Olympic 1500 Champ Aslı Çakır Alptekin of Doping – Will IAAF appeal?
*AFP Article On Alptekin *Reuters On Alptekin *Athletics Weekly On Alptekin
*LRC Archive: 2012 Olympic Women’s 1,500 Recap: Disaster Strikes Twice As Morgan Uceny Gets Tripped Again And A Former Doper Wins Gold